Urban exploration in Lancashire

Today was a little less remarkable compared to other explores, but interesting nonetheless. First up was a garden centre near Phill’s house, abandoned in 2013:

gate.jpg

willowpool.jpg

According to the Warrington Guardian, the 66 year old bipolar co-owner attacked his business partner during a psychotic episode, choking him before attempting to topple a statue on top of him – before abducting the manageress. Because of his age the courts decided not to whack him in prison. DRAMA.

van.jpg

gardencentre

corner.jpg

metalgryll.jpg

wallpaper2

The place appeared to have been abandoned around Christmas time, with broken decorations scattered about.

dolig2

The manager’s house was on-site, but we didn’t get many photos in the darkness; here’s a record of someone else’s visit. Phill showed me a photo from a previous visit which quite clearly shows a human silhouette and proper gave me the heebie jeebies.

gardenduck.jpg

garden2.jpg

vandals.jpg

garden3.jpg

nicewindow

lowridoor.jpg

gardenc.jpg

According to Phill, the place had deteriorated a lot since that previous visit; copper piping  ripped out, no  fish left in the pond. I found this video of it in a previous life.

gardenview.jpg

boobj.jpg

window3.jpg

house.jpg

pond

Next we found a bar-hotel which had only been abandoned a year or two. We had a good explore around the exterior, but climbing up the fire escape we seemed to trigger a motion sensor and had to scarper.

pub

pubchair.jpg

randompub

bar2.jpg

Next, Phill wanted to check out this cottage along his daily commute he’d been keeping an eye on it for several months. We didn’t attempt to get inside. Isn’t it pretty even in this condition?

xplor.jpg

door2.jpg

Another location he’d previously visited was Daresbury Hall, a former Georgian country house in the home village of Lewis Carroll. During the second world war it was used as a military hospital, and then by a charity (now known as Scope) as a residential home for the handicapped.

It had recently been ruined in a fire (STOP BURNING STUFF, FUCKWITS), so here are photos from his previous visit:

hospital3dollscurtainspiggychair2baileyshospital4hospital5lewis

We didn’t spend much time at the hospital, which had two security guards’ offices attached. We didn’t even see security guards, never mind have to outrun them!

couch

hospital.jpg

swimpool.jpg

Inside the hospital were the remains of a £750,000 cannabis farm, complete with police tape and evidence bags.

On the hospital grounds, a huge home had been semi-built on the sly by the dealers. According to Phill, the previous security guard had been in on the farm and alerted the family to a raid, who were able to slip out and never identified.

drughouse

It was too dark in there to bother taking many pictures, but believe us that no expense had been spared. Sauna… Dressing room… Marble… Elevated beds to make the most of countryside views…

drugsauna3

Here are pics Phill took on a previous visit:

bathshelvestv

Hopping over fences on our way back to the car, we unexpectedly came across a series of miniature train tracks:

lampost.jpg

cae.jpg

train.jpg

I would love to hear about your adventures in the comment section. In the meantime, you can follow our adventures on Phill’s Instagram.

Advertisements

Another Wednesday, another explore

Plan A was a convent in Lancashire, which had been knocked down by the time we got there and replaced with fancy houses that stood empty because nobody could afford them.

Plan B was St Joseph’s seminary down the road. Opened in 1883, its grounds boast a large greenhouse, cemetery and gorgeous lake.

greengreen2green3green4green5

The building itself is riddled with cameras and alarms, and we staked it out for a long time.

trees2.jpg

seminary2.jpg

seminary4

seminary

guard
Can you spot the guard?

There appeared to only be one security guard…

seminary3

We crept up on him. Notice how he’s no longer in his chair. He’d somehow managed to creep up on us – literally about 25 ft away – without even spotting us. Amazing.

Eventually we just risked it and walking right past the cameras. Still nothing. All previous entries had been boarded up. It’s such a stunning building and we were desperate to get inside, but my climbing skills weren’t up to scratch. Here’s a report from someone who did make it in.

From then on, we were on the lookout for some TOADS (Temporary, Obsolete, Abandoned and Derelict Spaces).

We found an abandoned cottage near the car and went to investigate. The view was phenomenal and I got the obligatory corn field shot.

llaw.jpg

corn

trees.jpg

I even saw my first swede field! A swede, growing out of the ground! Day = made.

We scrambled across the overgrown garden to have a gander through the windows. What we saw was mostly furnished, which is my favourite kind of discovery. At first we wondered whether it was actually abandoned. Maybe someone just really hated gardening? No photos exist of the back garden, but the brambles were taller than us.

bwthyn

window

An adorable old lady came to greet us, excited at the porspect of someone finally moving in. She explained how many people had stopped to ask about the cottage over the years, which had once been owned by an old man with a “strange son” who died approximately 20 years ago.

Onwards!

On our way to an abandoned garden centre or Camelot we passed an abandoned mansion. Searching for a parking place, we were distracted by a high-walled bridge, and on peeking over the edge on our tippy-toas because we’re both short stuff, spotted an abandoned mill.

Upon further inspection it appeared impossible to reach, so we embarked on a mission to find an alternative route.

gwenu.jpg

phl.jpg

After half an hour’s clambering through plants taller than us and plenty of brambles (just for a change), as well as completing other obstacles, we were there. The mill looked beautiful alongside the river.

river

Although the door was wide open, our guards were up in case we encountered squatters. A poster suggested the place had been out of action for around a decade.

2006.jpg

grisia.jpg

There was roll upon roll of herbal supplement stickers unravelling all over the floor, leading us to gather that the place had most recently been used as a factory.

stick

pills.jpg

We’re pretty sure we were the first people to rediscover this place. Although some buildings had suffered the general deterioration that occurs with lack of central heating and whatnot, there was no vandalism or graffiti and even the copper pipes remained intact. Exploring always gives me the heebie jeebies, so it was easier to relax knowing there was no security or anyone else here.

stool.jpg

mill

We found a pair of overalls and a cute woolly jumper on our travels…

stairs.jpg

mill2.jpg

mill3.jpg

gwallt.jpg
We sat up here, listening to the river and watching the rain for a long time.

Then we found a dead pigeon.

factory.jpg

sales.jpg

llinell.jpg
We figured that this path was to keep visitors out of harm’s way.

llinell2.jpg

llinell4

llinell5
This was labelled the printing room and had yet more stickers.

llinell6llinell7llinell8llinell9llinell10

drws.jpg

coesau.jpg

ext
*Someone* couldn’t resist giving the fire extinguishers a go.

Although it was a brilliant find, despite the brambles, trying to find a way in is often the best part. Not so much out though. What I learned: it’s really scary climbing over a spiky fence that is alarmingly close to your vagina.

Back at the car it was getting dark, but we decided to quickly check out the abandoned mansion which we’d all but forgotten about. Unfortunately the phone had died we didn’t get photos.

On a huge plot of land, there was a winding driveway with an overgrown garden which was probably gorgeous way back when. The home’s architecture gave the place an Addams Family vibe.

Inside was  little disappointing, having suffered extensive fire damage and vandalism. Most of the floors had collapsed.

However, some period features remained including arched windows, stone pillars and a carved staircase. What made the visit worthwhile, though, was a huge antique fireplace adorned with a carving depicting a ship at sea. Such a tragedy that only a cartoon enjoying a biffter was there to appreciate it full time.

Images by Phill Gaffney.